The vending machine business, like any other, is meant to make a profit. Before you even think about mapping out routes or choosing which products to sell, however, you need to find the best locations for your vending machines. The location is the most important aspect of ensuring your business is sustainable and profitable.
Areas with high foot traffic such as malls and entertainment or residential complexes, large offices or multi-business office parks, manufacturing plants, schools and universities with at least a few hundred people there.Locations with a few or no other food and beverage options such as parks, jails, motels, gas stations, and service businesses.Places that require a lot of waiting such as car repair shops, airports, bus and train stations, hospitals, medical centers, and salons. Even a public library will be a good location from that perspective.
When deciding whether to put a particular vending machine in a location or not, consider not only the surrounding area but also who the target customer is. Different products work better with different demographics – child-friendly snacks, gumballs or candies with pictures of soccer players or cartoon characters will work best near schools, while healthy snacks, protein bars, and dried fruit will be preferred good selection if your vending machine is located in front of a gym, for example.
Even with the right research, any place will not guarantee a good profit, but you can definitely stack the odds in your favor by following the important guidelines listed below:
1. Apartment Communities
Many apartment complexes have a pool or a clubhouse. These common areas are a great place for vending machines since all members of the community will have access to them. Keep in mind that the sales on the machine need to be adequate enough to maintain service at your property. Most vendors will want to make sure the equipment is installed in an area where the highest amount of traffic will be.
On average, hotels are among the most profitable vending locations and operators are always happy to have them as a customer. The very nature of hotels makes them an ideal vending customer, since guests often don't have easy access to other means of food and beverage services. Even though micro-markets and pantries have become increasingly popular for hotels, vending machines on other floors are still beneficial to guests and can still produce good revenue.
3. Manufacturing Facilities
Any location where there are dozens or even hundreds of people on site every day, all day is a good place for vending machine services. Most workers like to be able to grab a cold beverage or quick snack throughout the workday in order to keep them going. This steady flow of use makes manufacturing facilities a prime location for vending services.
No matter what kind of business it is, an office with 40 or more people can be a great location for a soda machine. If you want a snack machine, too, the employee count needs to be a little higher. Since revenue from snacks is almost always lower than soda revenue, most suppliers like to see about 75 employees or more to install a snack machine.
5. Retail Stores
Most retail workers are part-time employees, which means instead of a long lunch break, they often only get a couple of short breaks. Vending machines are ideal in the circumstances. It gives the employee an opportunity to get something to drink and eat without taking too much time to go elsewhere. Even better when the machines are accessible to your customers!
6. Auto Shops
Some of the most popular places for vending machines are auto repair shops. That's because customers are often waiting at the location for the work on their vehicle to be finished. Having the option of grabbing an ice cold Coke from a vending machine, along with a TV and free WiFi, makes the waiting much more tolerable.
One of the most important factors to consider is the location of the vending machine on your property. It needs to be placed in an area where the maximum amount of people will see it to generate the amount of sales your vending company needs to maintain service.
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